Dark Spirit of the Desart Rude
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
That o’er this awful solitude,
Each tangled and untrodden wood,
Each dark and silent glen below,
Where sunlight’s gleamings never glow,
Whilst jetty, musical and still,
In darkness speeds the mountain rill;
That o’er yon broken peaks sublime,
Wild shapes that mock the scythe of time.
And the pure Ellan’s foamy course,
Wavest thy wand of magic force;
Art thou yon sooty and fearful fowl
That flaps its wing o’er the leafless oak
That o’er the dismal scene doth scowl
And mocketh music with its croak?
I’ve sought thee where day’s beams decay
On the peak of the lonely hill,
I’ve sought thee where they melt away
By the wave of the pebbly rill;
I’ve strained to catch thy murky form
Bestride the rapid and gloomy storm;
Thy red and sullen eyeball’s glare
Has shot, in a dream, thro’ the midnight air
But never did thy shape express
Such an emphatic gloominess.
And where art thou, O thing of gloom? …
On Nature’s unreviving tomb
Where sapless, blasted and alone
She mourns her blooming centuries gone!–
From the fresh sod the Violets peep,
The buds have burst their frozen sleep,
Whilst every green and peopled tree
Is alive with Earth’s sweet melody.
But thou alone art here,
Thou desolate Oak, whose scathed head
For ages has never trembled,
Whose giant trunk dead lichens bind
Moaningly sighing in the wind,
With huge loose rocks beneath thee spread,
Thou, Thou alone art here!
Remote from every living thing,
Tree, shrub or grass or flower,
Thou seemest of this spot the King
And with a regal power
Suck like that race all sap away
And yet upon the spoil decay.